Spirit of Myanmar & the Untouched Upper Irrawaddy with Bangkok - Southbound
On this captivating river cruise, explore Bangkok, Thailand; cruise along the Irrawaddy River and see the best of Myanmar, known as the “Golden Land;” and go inland to the beautiful Inle Lake!In Bangkok, Thailand, you’ll get up close to its most renowned temples, including the Temple of the Reclining Buddha—the oldest and largest of its kind. In Yangon, you’ll see the magnificent, gilded Shwedagon Pagoda—considered the oldest pagoda in the world. Your river cruise will get underway in dramatic fashion as you sail along the untouched upper Irrawaddy. Visit remote villages for fascinating interactions including visits with schoolchildren, nuns, monks, and pottery makers. You’ll also pass through the dramatic second defile with its magnificent cliffs. Be inspired in Mandalay with a visit to the revered shrine of Mahamuni Pagoda with its impressive gold-leaf Buddha. Continue your river cruise to Sagaing and see the stunning Kaunghmudaw Pagoda with its egg-shaped dome and watch a local silversmith at work. Feel the unique energy of the people on a walking tour through the village of Shwe Pyi Thar and see firsthand the daily work done at a farmer’s home. With thousands of historical structures still standing, Bagan is one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites. Visit a spiritual temple at sunrise and a local market selling the unique handicrafts of the region. The tranquil Inle Lake is surrounded by mountains with stilted houses dotting the shorelines. Here you’ll stop in Silk, Silversmith, and Cheroot Workshops, and attend a traditional song and dance performance by the Padaung long-necked women who live in the region.This unforgettable river cruise vacation along the Irrawaddy offers everything from peaceful sailing and alluring scenery to grand, majestic temples and shrines—and plenty of interaction with locals to learn and feel a part of the ancient culture.
Day 1 Arrive Bangkok: welcome to ThailandDay 2 Bangkok: boat ride on klongs; visit the Grand Palace, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and the Temple of the Reclining BuddhaDay 3 Bangkok: day at leisureDay 4 Bangkok–Yangon: fly to YangonDay 5 Yangon: walking tour of the city’s landmarks; visit a local tea shop, Chaukhtatgyi, and Shwedagon PagodaDay 6 Yangon–Bhamo (Embarkation)-Second Defile: fly to Bhamo and explore the town by trishaw and foot; cruise through the dramatic second defile; onboard welcome receptionDay 7 Kyun Daw: visit a fisherman’s home, local school, and nunneryDay 8 Katha-Tigyang: visit a local market and excursion to a local ethnic minority village in Katha; walking tour through village and walk to hilltop pagoda in TigyangDay 9 Kya Hnyat: visit a monastery and present alms to the monks and see their lunch ritualDay 10 Kyauk Myaung: walking tour through a pottery-making villageDay 11 Mingun-Mandalay-Amarupura: see unfinished pagoda & bronze bell in Mingun; visit U Bein Bridge and take a sampan ride at sunset in AmarapuraDay 12 Mandalay: sightseeing including Mahamuni, Kuthadaw and Shwenandaw Pagodas; visit tapestry, woodcarving, and gold leaf workshops; traditional dance performanceDay 13 Sagaing: visit Kaunghmudaw Pagoda, a silversmith workshop, and Soon U Ponya Shin PagodaDay 14 Shwe Pyi Thar: walking tour through this typical river village to visit a local farmer’s home see palm candy being made; traditional puppet showDay 15 Bagan: watch sunrise from temple; sightseeing including a local market, Shwezigon Pagoda, lacquer workshop, Ananda Temple, Dhammayangyi Temple, Sulamani Temple; ox cart ride to temple for sunsetDay 16 Bagan (Disembarkation)–Heho-Inle Lake: fly to Heho; transfer to Inle Lake; lunch at Red Mountain EstateDay 17 Inle Lake: full-day excursion around the lake to see scenes of daily life; visit workshops of several cottage industries; Padaung music & dance performanceDay 18 Inle Lake–Heho–Yangon: transfer to Heho; fly to Yangon Day 19 Yangon: your vacation ends
Breakfast: American breakfast dailyLunch: 14 lunchesDinner: 13 dinners including a welcome dinner in Yangon